SoftBank Corp. partners with Perplexity

Tuesday 18 June 2024 14:55 CET | News

Japan-based SoftBank Corp. has entered into a strategic partnership with generative AI search startup Perplexity.


As part of this partnership, starting 19 June 2024, SoftBank will offer its mobile service customers using ‘SoftBank,’ ‘Y!mobile,’ and ‘LINEMO’ brands a one-year free trial of 'Perplexity Pro,' a paid subscription service. Perplexity Pro typically costs JPY 2,950 per month or JPY 29,500 per year. 

Perplexity is a conversational AI answer engine accessible through web browsers and apps, which delivers accurate responses to user queries based on the latest internet information and includes references to information sources for reliability. The premium version, Perplexity Pro, offers access to different advanced large language models (LLMs) for a more extensive service. This free trial is available exclusively to customers of SoftBank's three brands among Japan's mobile operators. 

Perplexity Pro allows users to select from the latest LLMs, enhancing their information searches and data processing capabilities. It includes features such as image generation in various styles, unlimited file uploads, and the ability to save search histories. Additionally, it supports an AI profile feature that personalises search results and provides chat-based support tools.


Japan-based SoftBank Corp. has entered into a strategic partnership with generative AI search startup Perplexity.


SoftBank’s bet on AI

In May 2024, SoftBank revealed its plans to allocate close to USD 9 billion annually to artificial intelligence investments, while reserving resources for potential larger deals. The company's founder emphasised the importance of AI in reshaping the company and supporting its primary asset, which is UK-based chip designer Arm. Over the past year, SoftBank's investment and commitment spending has more than doubled to USD 8.9 billion according to the Financial Times, reflecting a strategy to aggressively pursue opportunities. The company intends to maintain or possibly exceed this level of investment for suitable large-scale deals.  

SoftBank’s Chief Financial Officer stated that the company aims to continue its current investment pace, particularly focusing on AI companies. He also mentioned that maintaining a strong balance sheet allows for flexibility in seizing opportunities.  

SoftBank has evolved from an internet broadband business into a regulated mobile network operator, acquiring companies such as Vodafone Japan and Sprint, and then into an investment-focused entity with support from Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi. The group has also benefited from a successful investment in Alibaba. 

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Keywords: partnership, artificial intelligence, financial services, banks
Categories: Banking & Fintech
Companies: Perplexity, SoftBank
Countries: Japan
This article is part of category

Banking & Fintech




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